By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that imported goods henceforth should not be discharged at private jetties or midstream, warning that government will not condone the flouting of the directive.
He, therefore, called on theÂ Ministries of Transport, Commerce, Petroleum Resources and their parastatals to ensure that all goods imported into the country were discharged at designated terminals of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
He spoke while on inspection of Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne and the commissioning of port facilities at Onne Port Complex inÂ Rivers State.
Jonathan, who was on his first state working visit since he assumed office as President and Commander- in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said the new facilities at the port showed that Nigeria was growing and commended Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State for providing the enabling environment andÂ partnership as well as the concerted effort between government and Public Private Partnership, PPP, in the success story.
He argued that it was yielding desired results, even as he noted that the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne was the largest in the world, dedicated to gas and oil and that it will provide jobs to youths of Niger Delta, thereby creating wealth as well as check militancy.
The president was also of the opinion that such facilities would create drive for foreign investment into Nigeria to make it one of the leading economies in the world and commended the joint efforts between the Nigerian Ports Authority and Intel in creating the new facilities at the port to boost maritime activities.
The Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, disclosed that the policy behind the joint project was intended to reduce governmentâ€™s role by creating enabling environment for the private sector to grow and enable government to apply funds in other sectors.
He further argued that the project executed through PPP and with its completion, will be useful in ports operations as every party had lived to the terms of agreement.
He was insistent that the facilities at the port could compete with that of any part of the world, adding that government will partner other agencies to check unhealthy practices at Nigerian ports.